October 27th, 2009
10:03 AM ET
13 years ago

Bush debuts as motivational speaker

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/23/art.gwbush0923.gi.jpg caption="Bush spoke at a 'Get Motivated!' event in Fort Worth, Texas Monday night"](CNN) - Former President George W. Bush made his debut as a motivational speaker Monday night, telling a Fort Worth, Texas crowd it's futile to waste energy chasing popularity.

"It's so simple in life to chase popularity, but popularity is fleeting, it's not real," Bush said at a "Get Motivated!" business seminar, a multi-city event its organizers describe as an "energizing, action-packed, star-studded, fun-filled, spectacular stage show."

The president himself saw wild popularity swings during his eight years in the White House, garnering nearly a 90 percent approval rating in the months following the attacks on September 11, 2001 and exiting office with only the support of 31 percent of Americans, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll.

The former president was greeted enthusiastically by the 11,000 attendees of the event, according to the Fort Worth Telegram, and he spoke casually for about 20 minutes.

Event organizers declined to disclose how much the former president was compensated for the appearance, though former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani received $100,000 for a similar speech at the event two years ago.

Bush, who has made few public appearances or statements since leaving office nine months ago, also took the opportunity to reflect on his presidency.

"Every single day, I was honored to be your president by bringing honor and dignity to the office," he said. Bush also added later that his faith played a large role in guiding his decisions: "From a personal perspective, I don't see how you can be president without relying upon an almighty."

Colin Powell, the former Bush Secretary of State who sparred with many members of the president's inner circle over the invasion of Iraq and endorsed Barack Obama's presidential bid - also spoke at the event and offered high praise of his ex-boss.

"We are safer than we were before 9-11 because of President Bush," Powell said.
The former president is also scheduled to participate in another "Get Motivated!" seminar in San Antonio, Texas on December 2, according to the company's Web site.

"For a limited time only," the Web site says, tickets are available for that event at $4.95 per person or $19 for a group.

Follow Alex Mooney on Twitter @awmooneycnn

Filed under: George W. Bush • Popular Posts
soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. Jared

    What's his motivation message??? Any moron can be president???

    October 27, 2009 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  2. New Yorker

    Powell says we are safer now than before 9-11 because of Bush. That's a fact, but all those who sacrificed their lives and limbs for our safety will have done it in vain if Obama doesn't get his act together before it's too late. He spends too much time campaigning for the rest of his Socialist party leaving vacant the job that he was elected to. Oh, right, the democrats didn't actually need him to be present; the Czars can do his job for him.

    October 27, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  3. Moe Smith

    He's got nothing of value to tell anyone. the one and only reason anyone will turn out to his speeches is the same reason people pay to see the "freak show" of a carnival or pay to go to the "petting zoo" part of a fair. There's ZERO interest in what this waste of human flesh actually has to say... except maybe from his daddy and that man should be punched int eh face for not pulling out or making barbara take it in the arse or on the lip.

    October 27, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I'm trying to get with the idea of the Ex-President of the USA speaking at an event that charged less than $5 per person or $19 for a GROUP! It just sounds so desperately undignified somehow.

    October 27, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  5. That Other Jerry

    I've posted this before in regard to this topic–love him or hate him, Bush got control of a life that was headed nowhere, overcame a drinking problem, managed a successful baseball organization, became governor of a large state and a two-term President. By any definition, he is successful at self-motivation, and even though he inherited his father's talent for mangling the English language, if he sticks to his script he should be successful at motivating others. We have a new President and a new direction, so it's time to move on, haters. History will decide what kind of President Bush was. Carter went on to have a fruitful post-Presidency; let's see if Bush can do the same.

    October 27, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  6. AJ

    "Every single day, I was honored to be your president by bringing honor and dignity to the office." Oh that's rich! Bush should be humiliated by his performance as president and even more humiliated by the constant fabrication and deception his administration was known for. As usual, Bush ignores reality and asserts that he brought honor and dignity to the office. It would be funny if it didnt underscore the fact that Bush is a sad, delusional little man.

    October 27, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  7. Nick

    I believe he did this on Monday, as today is Tuesday.

    October 27, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  8. EG Berlin

    Colin Powell has served his country well until last year when he endorsed that empty suit Obama just because he could give good speeches from a teleprompter and because he is black. Bad on you, Colin. Big mistake on your part. You need to apologize to this country for that erroneous judgment.

    October 27, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  9. vicky from Milwaukee

    Who let him off the ranch?

    October 27, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  10. Adalbert

    Oh yes, he can motivate us to go to war and kill innocent people.

    October 27, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  11. Ryan in Iowa

    GW will go down in history as the one who stepped it up again terrorism. Thanks GW. Ok, libs start your futile bashing.

    October 27, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  12. anthony

    He certainly motivated the Democrats to go to the polls in the last election. Good job Bush!

    October 27, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  13. Alain Abitbol

    Bush started as motiovational speaker last week in Montreal where protesters were throwing shoes in the street prior to his speech and where five were arrested for disorderly conduct.

    October 27, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  14. Sarah

    Bush as a motivational speaker -
    seriously??? -
    what a LAUGH!!!

    October 27, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  15. Seattle Sue

    Bush is right about popularity, he does have much left. I would not walk across the street to hear him speak if it was free. I was praying before he left office that he would pack his complete family up and move to Paraguay.

    October 27, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  16. K. Owens

    Now that's the funniest thing that I've seen in a while ... in order to be an effective 'speaker', don't you have to able to 'speak'? Get back to me when he is able to pronounce words correctly and then maybe I will stop laughing.

    October 27, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  17. ana

    Hilarious!!!!! Hahahahahahahahahaha.....well...it isssss Texas....

    October 27, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    "We are safer than we were before 9-11 because of President Bush," Powell said.

    Hahahahahaha! That's because they caught bin Laden? Or because there've been no more terrorist strikes? What a peculiarly stupid type of logic! I expected a little better from Colin Powell. Why not credit the troops, rather?

    There have been no more terror strikes because it took all they had to pull off 9/11. The same reason why the Japanese didn't take over America after Pearl Harbor. They couldn't! But Powell believes a percentage of the electorate will swallow the lies and credit grabbing, and he'll be correct. He and his masters will never understand, unfortunately, how tired and washed-up they sound.

    October 27, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  19. Robert Sparks

    This is all well and good but don't ever let yourself forget the following:

    1. 9/11 happened on his watch.
    2. He started 2 wars that were trumped up lies and sold as a bill of goods to the American people.
    3. He handed out a trillion dollar tax cut that wasn't needed because he failed to understand the conditions under which supply side economics was applicable.
    4. And largely as a result, we're in the biggest mess we've ever been in since the Great Depression and it will take us years to recover.

    October 27, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  20. Robert Jacobsen

    For anyone that hasn't heard Bush try to speak in his 8 years as president is in for a big surprise. George Bush speaking ablity is that of a 1st grader. If he had to depend on speaking for a living i'm afraid he would starve.

    October 27, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  21. Barbara Independent in NY

    After being forced to listen to this intellectually challenged speaker for 8 years, I certainly wouldn't pay to listen to him speak again. The only thing that he would motivate me to do is leave the room.

    October 27, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  22. John

    Who cares about that old Fart!

    October 27, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  23. G.Peay

    This has to be some type of joke?

    October 27, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  24. Jerry Miller

    There must be a crystal ball at CNN to predict the results of Tuesday speech 12 hours before it happened. Or maybe it is just sloppy reporting and it happened on Monday night.

    October 27, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  25. Calidan

    A more appropriate new career for Bush would be something like prison librarian....

    October 27, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
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